Coronavirus outbreak: Melbourne doctor who tested positive may have affected his own patients

Health authorities in Australia are trying to contact 70 patients who were checked by a doctor who recently diagnosed with COVID-19

Victorian health authorities are trying to track down 70 patients of a Melbourne doctor who has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. The Melbourne doctor, who is in his 70s, travelled to the US and became sick on his way back home after his 12 days visit.

The doctor who is the state's 11th case of the Novel Coronavirus is currently in home isolation and recovering from the illness, after being confirmed to have the virus on Friday night, March 6. As per the reports, the state health minister, Jenny Mikakos, said that he attended work and treated patients after he developed the COVID-19 symptoms.

The doctor and the patients

A doctor hold a syringe as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Nice, France October 24, 2017. Reuters

Victorian Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement that the doctor had a runny nose on a flight from Denver to San Fransicoso, before coming back to Australia on United Airlines flight UA0060. Authorities are currently trying to inform all passengers who were on the same flight.

As reported by The Guardian, minister Mikakos said "I am flabbergasted" that the doctor who has flu-like symptoms has visited his workplace. She added that "He became unwell with a runny nose on an internal flight from Denver to San Francisco on February 27, US time, then flew to from San Francisco to Melbourne on United Airlines flight UA60, arriving at approximately 9.30 am Saturday 29 February."

Between March 2 and March 6, the unnamed Melbourne doctor came in contact with about 70 patients in the past five days at Toorak Clinic, on Malvern Road which is closed now. Reported revealed that state authorities also revealed that the doctor also attended two patients at a nursing home in Malvern.

Safety measures

The nursing home residents have been put into isolation in their rooms along with other staffs as they came into close contact with the doctor. Meanwhile, Mikakos added that four screening clinics will be set up at the Melbourne hospitals to take release some pressure from the emergency departments. These clinics are set up at the Royal Melbourne, The Alfred, Austin and Box Hill hospitals and will open on Saturday.

Related topics : Coronavirus